Despite being beaten by her roommate, Miss USA Olivia Culpo, at the Miss Universe finals in Las Vegas yesterday, Connolly beauty Renae Ayris still has reason to celebrate after being named third runner-up.
Having landed in the top five alongside pageant favourites Miss Brazil, Miss Venezuela and Miss Philippines, Ayris' pageant journey ran smoothly without any wardrobe malfunctions, slips or falls and even saw her give one of the best answers during the Q&A session.
And Ayris wasn't without local support.
There was a strong WA presence among the crowd at the pageant venue, Planet Hollywood, which included Miss Universe WA organisers Sophia and Troy Barbagallo, Ayris' immediate family and boyfriend Sam Doyle.
Another Perth-raised talent to join Ayris on stage yesterday was singer-dancer Timomatic, who performed his hit Set it Up as the top five walked in the final parade before the winner was announced.
The support was just as strong back on home soil, with the Barbagallos putting on a brunch for VIP guests at Surround Sounds in Nedlands.
This included a contingent of upbeat 2013 Miss Universe WA contenders, who turned up to watch a live streaming of the pageant and cheer on the blonde bombshell.
Chadwick's Perth models and 2013 WA top 60 competitors Caris Tiivel and Chloe Gelmi, who were among those to attend, told AAA that despite missing out on the crown Ayris had done the country proud.
"She's a winner in our eyes," Gelmi said.
"It's an amazing achievement," Tiivel added.
Ayris is expected to fly back to WA this weekend to spend Christmas with family.It is not known whether she will remain in Perth, though she has previously hinted she wants to move to the east coast with Doyle.
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